This week is turning into a long week to say the least.
The Shooter has agreed to "loop" for a bona fide tour star for the Australian PGA at Royal Queensland. Initially I wasn't going to mention the players name because as you know The Shooter deserves the limelight but after the Monday practice round I cant help it.
We drive up to the gate to be met with 3 volunteers. They need to make sure we are double jabbed and we check in. Hey, Its Andrew Stolz says one guy, much to the chagrin of my player.
Hi, I am Andre Stolz, you would know me, what's your name ?
I cant believe at the front gate, day 1, he has pulled the "you would know me" card, fuck me, its going to be a long week.
Had the benefit of Andrew's, sorry Andre's electric buggy to make my way around, it was a tough walk but we made it and picked out a few nuances that a professional eye like only Shooter's would see. That is the stuff Shooter brings to the partnership, professionalism for fucks sake.
Wednesday Pro Am, 7:30am start, alarm set at 4:00am, fuck its early, Shooter makes his way down the Bruce Highway and it hasn't changed, its still a race track for tradie filled Hi Lux's and Ranger's zipping in and out of lanes and the ever present roadworks.
We meet at the hotel and have a quick chat on the way to the course, AS waves dismissively to his friend on the gate as we drive through, "fuck him calling me Andrew on day 1".
Whilst AS disappears into player dining to get some breakfast, Shooter sets up on the range (has to be the right hand side) and waits until his highness has decided to make his way out. In the mean time, Shooter is mixing it with the other loopers and signing a couple of hats for the kids, they know who I am. AS clips a few and its off to the 15th tee for the start of the pro am. 15th fucking tee, thought this guy had a rep and street cred, obviously not as a big hitter as he was 15 years ago. The playing partners are not bad, they do all know him and he puts on a good show for them with some very good ball striking and holes a few putts for around even par. Just like The Shooter, AS keeps his pro am partners happy.
We have found a few things on the golf course today and I am sure they will be of value during the week. This looping gig isn't so hard, apart from the early starts, not sure what all the fuss is about.
Day 1: 7:15 start 10 Tee.
Another early start, alarm set at 3:55am and Shooter makes his way to the golf course, Andrew almost runs over the gate volunteers and he is off to player dining again, Shooter is off to the range but no electric buggy today champ, carrying these bad boys all the way. These aren't heavy, its a process to wet the towel, clean the clubs, get some water, make sure AS's Powerade* (paid partnership) bottles are ready, sign a ball for the kids (Shooter not Andre) clip a few, smooth out some early morning wrinkles, pitch some, few bunker shots and then roll a few on the way to the tee.
Shooter gets his players bib, don't really understand why it has Andre Stolz on it though, shouldn't it have Shooter on it ?
Couple of bogies early and a birdie bounceback on 12 to be +1 and there has not been a bad shot hit, this golf course is a beast from the back, I am still fucked if I know how the birdie putt on 16 didn't drop, perfect pace, sometimes good putts don't drop.
17 was plugged in the trap and the par putt was just short in the jaws. I saw a perfect golf shot from 159 on 18, an 8 iron that landed on the front edge and decided to not stop and run in the back trap short sided, you have to be fucking joking said The Shooter as he wiped the club. Deft touch and a fighting 7 footer to make par gets out of jail when you go flush flush, brutal.
This is starting to be harder than I thought, you never get a rest, feel like you are running all the fucking time, then The Shooter gave AS a bad number on 1 and had to say "hang on a minute" and go over it again, fortunately he is good enough to shake it off and hit it to 15 feet, another fucking putt that edges its way out.
Birdie 3 on number 2 from 15 feet, fuck yeah. Flush it off 4 tee, Shooter has to use the facilities, of course I have to take the clubs with me, Andrew says, don't fuck about, you will have to get the yardages as soon as you catch up, fuck the piss was great, had 5 bottles of water and it was just in time. I came out of there to see the players 200 up the fairway almost ready to hit.
Now I do have to run, fuck its hard with a bag and 10kg you don't fucking need on your guts. I would not have wanted to see that on slow mo.
By the time I got there AS had the number, we did the flag and he grinds out another 4.
Fuck this guy can play.
Great 3 on the next and another good par on the 5th which plays fucking long from under the gateway bridge. We have 4 to play and after a little rest on the 5th, I had to make up another Powerade (paid partnership) bottle for the big guy, shake it up just the way he likes it, place it in the bag in the perfect spot next to his banana but not let it touch anything else. Imagine being married to him !
Another flushed tee shot on 6, we work out the perfect number and the ball pulls up quicker than we thought, the putt is perfect and Shooter sticks his head in to have a look at it go in, then a foot to go it turns and misses right, fuck off, no way that should have done that.
We have have 83 front edge into the 7th, flag on 27, slightly down wind, pin cut on the back ridge, its a hard shot and we know the ball doesn't stop on the back ridge. Its a shot that requires touch and finesse. Its a perfect one bounce up the ridge shot. Shooter would be perfect to hit this.
Andre stumps it, as its in the air, under my breath I say "fucking swallow it" It finishes just short, fist bumps all around, birdie.
Shooter has a got a second wind after almost being down and out a couple of holes ago, 202 5 iron to a green that wont hold a shot, have I mentioned this place is fucking hard ?
It all comes down to the last, another stripe and a 4 iron layup to 90 flag, 83 front, slightly back into the wind. AS says "pull me off if the wind gusts before I hit it" I didn't think our relationship and my contract included that but ok, if that what has to be done.
Thankfully the wind stays constant, Andre flushes it, calls for it to swallow but it flies a little long.
Now as we all know Shooter has ground out a lot of putts on the last to make a lot of cash, mainly from Blisters, Stickers and Singlets. He may have got a couple of $ from Disco on occasion as well.
Andre stalks this last putt, it is similar to the one he made on Monday to tie the young blokes in the money match (the young bloke was the current leader) he made it then and wants it now, Shooter confirms the read and he knocks it in to shoot even par and feel better for the day and finish T32
Even is so so much better than +1 and it confirms again, this guy can play.
Shooter was witness to a fucking stripeshow today, Andrew missed 1 shot all day and shot even, the golf course is tough from the back tees and it was a display for sure.
12 noon for round 2 tomorrow.
The photo above is actual footage of Shooter when he got home, slept for 3 hours and now up doing the pins for tomorrow and taking care of business.
Keep an eye on the tele, you might see some greatness.
Big Day 1 Shooter out.